The existing building measures around 1.620 m2, divided into a cluster of small and bigger rooms, that don’t provide a sufficient answer to the demands of a contemporary library. Instead of an easily accessible, coherent and readable building, the existing library compiles an incomprehensible stack of diverse rooms. In order to meet with contemporary demands, the design should not only question the setting and layout of the building, but also its flexibility and polyvalent character. The site regulations allow for the construction of a volume which measures 25m by 30m and a maximum height likewise the existing building. We suggest unfolding this volume in order to open up the west façade. The volume is shoved against the existing building. Originally being an introverted building, it now reenacts as a surprising, compelling and inviting public space. It allows glimpses of the internal activities of the library as if it were an open book. At the same time, this spatial gesture allows linking the building to the existing park. Both streets, flanking the library, are being marked by two striking entrances. The building thereby no longer expresses a front and back side, but is omnipresent. In order to optimally integrate the building in to the surroundings, the neighboring park is redeveloped and partly tucked in the south west facade as if it were a fold in the book.
Year: 2011 -
Status: design phase (competition winner)
Surface area: 2.271m²
Client: city council of Halle